Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 20th, 2017

A Need for State’s Iron Will in Combating Corruption

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A Need for State’s Iron Will in Combating Corruption

The destructive issue of administrative corruption in Afghanistan is a chronic problem that affected all systems in some ways and hampered the development. The rise in administrative corruption needs to be tackled with strong determination. The public expect the National Unity Government (NUG) to embark on its agenda spoken about in presidential campaign and take practical step to eliminate it. This cancerous issue must be prioritized. People unfold their negative opinions about insufficient struggles made in combating corruption which sparked off a sense of disappointment. Nonetheless, in case of developing practical strategies, establishing an effective and efficient system, and treating perpetrators with seriousness will be a gleam of hope for the nation. It will also awaken the moral conscience of staff members and make them fulfill their responsibilities.
On the contrary, adopting dual policy in treating perpetrators will not only fail to address the corruption but also generate a sense of mistrust between nation and state. In addition to adopting a national strategy, government’s strong political will, effective plans, and formidable measurement are likely to be the only viable options. The state can ensure the implementation of its policy if it observes with scrutiny, prevent law-breaking in all government’s machinery, reform and reinforce legal and justice system, and pave the path for people to file their petition and ease their access to justice.
A fundamental campaign against the roots of administrative corruption will be crucial. First and foremost, the government’s iron will in eradicating this corruption and the parallel movement of the three powers, i.e., legislative, executive and judiciary powers, are preconditions for overcoming the issue. Additionally, judicial system will have to implement the law strictly and bring perpetrators to justice.
Adopting strategies and reforming or revising legal documents will play key role in reinforcing social justice and reducing administrative corruption in governmental and non-governmental institutions. However, lack of an effective strategy will smooth the path for exploitation and wider involvement in corruption. That is why the government made effort to pay heed to this part of the problem.
Monitoring the implementation of law is also significant. It is said that the Afghan government has developed national anti-corruption strategy and will finalize it after consulting with several institutions. The obstacles existing in administrations and the state’s responsibilities and the measurements to be taken by it have been explained in this agenda. In the meantime, a sound leadership, strong determination in the government’s leadership, transparency in policies, reformation in security sector, transparency in employment through the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission, the prosecution of perpetrators, and healthy financial management have been emphasized in this agenda. Adopting such strategies will bear the desired result only if its practical mechanism is payed careful attention and its implementation is ensured by the government. It will be more significant to learn from the experiences of developed countries in combating administrative corruption. For example, listening to the public complaints regarding administrations and members of government staff was deemed very constructive in combating corruption and was appreciated globally. This has been supported by the societies which uphold the rights of citizens and seek, with strong determination, to put an end to such corruption. So, this can be an eye-opener for the Afghan government, too. The countries that tackled this issue successfully consider it the outcome of bestowing legal competence to anti-corruption institutions, establishing law and order, supporting free and active media, and upholding the sensitive and healthy opinion of the public.
If perpetrators are not brought to justice or they are supported openly as a result of political corruption, plundering public property, accumulating wealth, intensifying social hatred, and spreading ethnic and political tensions will emerge sooner than expected that will necessarily lead to the promotion of corruption in political institutions. To prevent the said issues, the national anti-corruption strategy needs to make the government to show a strong political will in fighting corruption and treat perpetrators without discrimination. Establishing an independent body to monitor the implementation of national anti-corruption strategy is extremely essential. Similarly, founding a high administrative court is also important in this respect. The government is supposed to endorse effective plans with strong mechanism for backing free media. In another item, the media need to be independent so as to be able to spread awareness; put negative issues, including the administrative corruption, under question; and be appropriate tribune for people. In brief, the media are not to be colored with ethnic or factional tendencies. So, it is the government to ensure the national anti-corruption strategy in order to mitigate the administrative corruption.   

Abdul Hamid Arifi is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at the Outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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